Officers id swimmer killed in apparent shark assault near Bailey …

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Authorities in Maine said Tuesday the woman killed in a rare shark attack off the state’s coast was a 63-year-old resident of New York City.

The shark bite killed Julie Dimperio Holowach, the Maine Department of Marine Resources said. The shark, which was later confirmed to be a great white shark, fatally bit Holowach off Bailey Island on Monday while she was swimming.

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Officials ID swimmer killed in apparent shark attack near Bailey …

About swimmer
Swimming is an individual or team racing sport that requires the use of one’s entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water (e.g., in a sea or lake). Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke, ordered as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.Swimming each stroke requires a set of specific techniques; in competition, there are distinct regulations concerning the acceptable form for each individual stroke. There are also regulations on what types of swimsuits, caps, jewelry and injury tape that are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, such as tendinitis in the shoulders or knees, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport.

The Maine Marine Patrol said a witness saw Holowach swimming off the shore of Bailey Island when she was bitten. Two kayakers helped her get to shore and an ambulance provided further assistance, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, the marine patrol said.

The attack happened about 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters) offshore, and the rescuers were a man and woman in a rented tandem kayak, said Jeff Cooper, co-owner H2Outfitters on the island, which offers instruction, rentals, and sales of kayaks.

Officials ID swimmer killed in apparent shark attack near Bailey …

The kayakers were on the shore when one of them saw something breach, and realized something was wrong, Cooper said.

“They happened to be right there at the scene. They were courageous enough to jump in and retrieve the victim,” Cooper said.

One of the kayakers grabbed Holowach, and the other paddled to get her back to shore, said Cathy Piffath, the other co-owner. The kayakers asked not to be identified.

Holowach and her family own property in the area and are well known in the community, which is shaken by her death, said Rob Beal, major of the Maine Marine Patrol.

There had previously only been one recorded unprovoked shark attack in Maine, and it was 10 years ago off Eastport, Maine Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said. He said the shark was identified as a great white by a tooth fragment.

He described the attack as “highly unusual,” but added it’s cause for vigilance among beachgoers.

“The rarity of this event does not mean it’s not going to happen again,” Keliher said.

The Marine Patrol has urged swimmers and boaters to use caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schooling fish or seals. Large sharks prey on seals, which are common off Maine. Two coastal state parks, Popham and Reid, are not allowing swimmers beyond waist-deep water, state officials said.

Bailey Island is part of the town of Harpswell, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) up the Maine coast from Portland. Harpswell is a town of about 4,700 that is popular with vacationers and second homeowners for its coast, beaches and sweeping views of Casco Bay.

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